things which are a mere shadow of what is to come; but the substance belongs to Christ.Colossians 2:17(NASB)
To give LIGHT to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, and to guide our feet into the way of PEACE.
The dawn-chorus, which ushers in the first rays of sunshine to a sleeping earth, begins with the first melodious strain of a single little blackbird’s throat. Similarly, the silent approach of the Sun of Righteousness 2000 years ago, was heralded by the glorious songs of Mary and Zacharias.. who sang of the tender mercies of our God, whereby the dayspring from on high hath visited us. Just as the dark, shapeless earth needed the 'Ruach' of God to flutter over it... just as the black, formless void required the Light to be bidden.. just as the lifeless clay body of man required the Breath of Life to light his spirit... just as the Spirit overshadowed Mary in the Incarnation of the Light of the World – so the Holy Spirit, the ‘Ruach’ of God, breathes in life and light. Life and light to the dead sinner’s spirit: You, He also quickened. You, He made alive – you who were dead in trespasses and sins. Rom.8:11
Just as God’s directed light followed darkness and dawn at the world’s creation... just as dazzling light filled the newly formed clay vessel (Adam) with spirit and life – so is the new creation called from darkness to light, and from death to life. And here, in these wonderful words, God’s purpose was seen. The first sight of God’s amazing purpose was proclaimed:- a mystery and a plan... formed in the heart of God from before the world was created. The Lamb slain from the foundation of the world…..” Rom.13:8. But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery – even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world, unto our glory.” 1Cor.2:7
Oh, Christian! away from the Lord we are overshadowed and swamped by darkness.. overwhelmed by ignorance, impurity, sorrow, grief, and utterly sin-soaked. And thusread more
Jesus... said, hat do you want Me to do for you? They said to Him, ord, let our eyes be opened.(Matthew 20:32,33 ESV)
We shall never see Divine things by the aid of our reason. We shall never see things because they are put plainly to us by the one who ministers. No, it will only be as Jesus of Nazareth comes into touch with us and we with Him. And that applies to every stage of the Christian life. If there are any reading these lines, who have never in the first place had their eyes opened to see, so that the result is Life eternal for knowing is only another word for seeing, and Jesus said, "This is life eternal, that they should know Thee the only true God, and Him whom Thou didst send, even Jesus Christ" (John 17:3); "that they should know" another word for seeing if you have not yet entered into Life, received eternal Life, remember that it will not just happen to you; it will not simply happen. You will have to become tremendously concerned about this and show the Lord that you mean business; you will have to be like Bartimaeus and cry, and "so much the more" cry. Remember that the Lord does so often wait, delay, and hold off, to see if we really place value upon this seeing. We are tested as to how much we esteem His things.
And what is true at the beginning is true all the way along. There is no end to Divine revelation; there is no end to our seeing. Oh, how little we have seen, how little we know, of the vast stores of Divine intention and thought and purpose and meaning. We stand and paddle on the shores of this vast ocean of God and of His purposes and meanings in our creation. How little we know about it! and we are not going to know until we have deep heart exercise. But it is there, and it is there for us, and oh, we have got to come in this way "so much the more." Are you like that after a conference, or after any meeting in which there has been a ministry of God's Word? Are you sure you have seen all that God meant you to see? Are you just hearing what is said? You agree but what is the effect? The real effect waits upon this heart exercise, this crying out and a crying out "so much the more." The Lord is not close and mean, holding it from you, but He is wanting to know that this is of greater price to you than all else; if needs be, of greater price than your sleep, your rest: you are going to give Him no rest until He opens your eyes.
I love the Lord, because He has heard My voice and my supplications. Because He has inclined His ear to me, therefore I will call upon Him as long as I live.
When you pray, do not use vain repetitions as the heathen do. For they think that they will be heard for their many words. § The Spirit … helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.
I desire therefore that the men pray everywhere, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting. § Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints.
If two of you agree on earth concerning anything that they ask, it will be done for them by My Father in heaven.
Bless the Lord, O my soul; and all that is within me, bless His holy name! Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits. § I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth. § Every day I will bless You, and I will praise Your name forever and ever.
Because Your lovingkindness is better than life, my lips shall praise You. Thus I will bless You while I live; I will lift up my hands in Your name. My soul shall be satisfied as with marrow and fatness, and my mouth shall praise You with joyful lips.
My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior.
You are worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power; for You created all things, and by Your will they exist and were created.
And you, that were once alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath He reconciled in the body of His flesh through death, to present you holy and unblamable and unreprovable in His sight" (Col. 1:21, 22).
In order for our Father to be satisfied with us, He placed us in His Son. In order for us to be satisfied with our Father, we "rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh" (Phil. 3:3).
"On what ground is our faith tested? It is on the ground of our very relationship with God and God's attitude toward us. The concentration of the enemy is upon that point - to interfere with our link with God.
"What is our link with God? It is this - the Lord Jesus Christ, as the answer to God and to Satan for us. It will never be what we are in ourselves. If you are expecting a day to come when in virtue of what you are in yourself you can satisfy God, you are destined to an awful disillusionment. The day will never come when we can satisfy God in ourselves, not even more or less."
"How could there be any doubt about the believers perfect security if his position in the Lord Jesus were realized? It would be impossible. Can He change? Or will God say to Him, I cannot any longer accept You as standing for this people? Or, once again if standing for them, is He on probation? Is His work completely done, or still to do?" -F.W.G.
"And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath He made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses" (Col. 2:13).
“Judge not, that ye be not judged.” Matthew 7:1
Jesus says regarding judging - Don't. The average Christian is the most penetratingly critical individual. Criticism is a part of the ordinary faculty of man; but in the spiritual domain nothing is accomplished by criticism. The effect of criticism is a dividing up of the powers of the one criticized; the Holy Ghost is the only One in the true position to criticize, He alone is able to show what is wrong without hurting and wounding. It is impossible to enter into communion with God when you are in a critical temper; it makes you hard and vindictive and cruel, and leaves you with the flattering unction that you are a superior person. Jesus says, as a disciple cultivate the uncritical temper. It is not done once and for all. Beware of anything that puts you in the superior person's place.
There is no getting away from the penetration of Jesus. If I see the mote in your eye, it means I have a beam in my own. Every wrong thing that I see in you, God locates in me. Every time I judge, I condemn myself (see Romans 2:17-20). Stop having a measuring rod for other people. There is always one fact more in every man's case about which we know nothing. The first thing God does is to give us a spiritual spring-cleaning; there is no possibility of pride left in a man after that. I have never met the man I could despair of after discerning what lies in me apart from the grace of God.
Thou hast loved my soul from the pit.
God loves us so much that He gave all, even to the dregs of the bitter cup. But the Lord has no illusions or disillusions about you or me. He sees us for what we are – descendants of fallen Adam – lost sinners, with evil capacities in our hearts of which we know nothing – evil capacities.. the magnitude of which we ourselves have not plumbed.
Our natural abilities and developed personalities mean nothing. Our personal attraction and intellectual prowess are of no consequence. Our intrinsic strength and tutored training are of no account to God. Our innate charisma and magnetic allure is petty insignificance to Him. Our inherent talents and engaging disposition have no value. Our instinctive wisdom and intuitive capabilities are meaningless vomit. Until we finally see ourselves through His eyes, we live in an illusion. Until the Spirit strips us naked, we remain deluded – even in our perceived ‘humility’.
Think of the worse most foul, wicked, disgusting, and cruel villain. “In Christ” that man is loved and precious.. perfect in the sight of God. Think of the most honourable, righteous, gentle, clean-living, pure individual. That one’s virtue and good deeds are polluted scraps before a holy God. Think of the rich young ruler and sweet Mary of Bethany, who sat at His feet. Who could be labeled more virtuous? more irreproachable? more godly!! Who indeed! For their common lives exuded goodness and wisdom! Perfect.. until…. until the Lord’s sharp two-edged sword cut away their pretence. For natural virtue is as the filthy rags, discarded at a woman’s monthly flow.
Natural ‘virtues’ and developed 'skills' mask the truth of who we are, but God knows! He knows every last, lingering, little, lustful leaning. He knows every pathetic, polluted, prideful propensity. Yet for that born-again believer, you are perfect in Him. But natural virtues and developed skills must be broken and shattered, as well as "every last, lingering, little, lustful leaning." For all such things display rebellion against God.read more